What Did Officers Actually Do?

“In return for their privileges, what did officers actually do? The simple answer, at least for regimental officers, is that they gave leadership, took responsibility, and set an example, if necessary, by dying. … Implicit was the assumption that the officer would be the first to die in battle. Officers were the first out of the trench in an assault or a night patrol, and the last out in a retreat.”

Desmond Morton (1993) When Your Number’s Up, The Canadian Soldier in the First World War.


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